In addition to our weekly Waiver Wire posts and Injury Updates, we’ll also be providing valuable matchup analysis each Week along with our suggestions on who to start and who to bench.

Carolina (0-1) at Atlanta (1-0)
Carolina YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Atlanta YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 82 1st Passing Defense 163 8th
Rushing Defense 185 29th Rushing Defense 96 21st
Fantasy Impact: Steve Smith owners can start to worry a little after Jake Delhomme’s Week 1 debacle; however, they did go up against a great Eagle’s defense. This week’s match-ups should be a little better for all Panthers. DeAngelo Williams’ owners must be happy he slipped to the later half of the first round since he proved early he still is a touchdown machine. This week he will be getting a ton of touches again since John Fox has little faith in his quarterback. On the flip side of the ball, Matt Ryan looked great and hooked up with his new TE Tony Gonzalez early and often. Since Gonzalez had such a good game we fully expect the Panthers to try to take him out of the game which means single coverage for Roddy White. We expect the Falcons to put up big numbers with both the pass and Michael Turner on the ground.
Minnesota (1-0) at Detroit (0-1)
Minnesota YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Detroit YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 179 10th Passing Defense 358 31st
Rushing Defense 89 19th Rushing Defense 157 26th
Fantasy Impact: Adrian Peterson owners that hit the lottery with the number one pick will be able to double down this week with this match-up against the Lions. Peterson proved last week why he went number one overall and should be primed to do it again. Brett Favre could possibly get a little more involved this week and might toss a few touchdowns (Drew Brees had 6 against the Loins, Favre should get at least 1). Everyone is talking about how the Lions kept in the game with their offense; however, the Minnesota D is far superior to the Saints so look for Matt Stafford to throw a couple picks and Kevin Smith not to have a huge day. Calvin Johnson will be Calvin; and as long as Stafford can throw the ball in the air, he should have a solid day.
Cincinnati (0-1) at Green Bay (1-0)
Cincinnati YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Green Bay YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 227 18th Passing Defense 266 23rd
Rushing Defense 75 10th Rushing Defense 86 15th
Fantasy Impact: Everyone that was banking on the Bengals to have a huge offensive day due to watching them on Hard Knocks was disappointed. This match-up is not any easier so people might be disappointed again. There were some positive fantasy notes from week 1 and Cedric Benson was one of them. The Bengals involved Benson on almost a third of their plays and anyone that touches the ball that many times will produce. We fully expect to see more Benson this week. Carson Palmer should have a better day this week which means Chad Ochocinco will as well. The Packers offense looked terrible last week until a late bomb by Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings (who was targeted a ton and will be again this week). The Cincy D might give Ryan Grant fits since they are strong up the middle and Grant does not get to the edge too often; however, Rodgers will prove why he is a top tier quarterback this week.
Houston (0-1) at Tennessee (0-1)
Houston YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Tennessee YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 272 24th Passing Defense 321 29th
Rushing Defense 190 30th Rushing Defense 36 4th
Fantasy Impact: Matt Schaub saw his first game of the 2009 season from his back for most of the day which did not bode well for Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, or Steve Slaton. We fully expect for Tennessee to blitz all game long but if the O-Line can give Schaub time Johnson could have a nice day. Slaton on the other hand is going up against a tough front line and might have to find his way onto your bench. Justin Gage (one of the most added players this week) will be a hit or miss candidate week to week; however, this might be another good week for the receiver. We also like Chris Johnson to run wild and maybe even break one to get into the end zone.
Oakland (0-1) at Kansas City (0-1)
Oakland YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Kansas City YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 240 20th Passing Defense 303 28th
Rushing Defense 77 12th Rushing Defense 198 31st
Fantasy Impact: Never start JaMarcus Russell but this week look for his tight end Zack Miller to have a good day. Old man Todd Heap lit up this Kansas City Defense and Miller is a younger faster version of him. The O-Line for Oakland was impressive, and we are betting they will run the ball more than pass it; but it is a tough to situation with Michael Bush and Darren McFadden since it seems to be a 50-50 split. Bush will get the goal lines and McFadden will get the yards so start them based on your league settings. If this was 2005, Oakland would have faced a LaDainian Tomlinson and then Larry Johnson in their prime back to back; but it is three years later, and I expect Larry Johnson to do about the same that Tomlinson did (which was not much) against the Raiders this week. Kansas City should have a few interesting plays this week especially if Matt Cassel starts. Look for Dwayne Bowe to have a nice bounce back game and possibly find the end zone again.
New England (1-0) at NY Jets (1-0)
New England YARDS/GAME NFL RANK NY Jets YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 186 12th Passing Defense 145 5th
Rushing Defense 90 20th Rushing Defense 38 5th
Fantasy Impact: This division battle has a ton of fantasy implications. Mark Sanchez was a pleasant surprise Week 1 and is one of the most added quarterbacks in fantasy leagues due to it. He did have five close calls nearly getting picked off several times, so expect a few this week and mix that in with 1-2 touchdowns and you get an average play. New England looks to be a fantasy juggernaut again led by Tom Brady (who took one half to be the Brady of old) completing 12 pass to both Randy Moss and Wes Welker. The Jets will bring the pressure but look for each of these receivers to have a solid day. It is still a little unclear which back to own for the Pats, and all indications are that is it not worth starting any of them this season.
New Orleans (1-0) at Philadelphia (1-0)
New Orleans YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Philadelphia YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 198 14th Passing Defense 83 2nd
Rushing Defense 33 3rd Rushing Defense 86 15th
Fantasy Impact: The Saints and Drew Brees did what they were suppose to do against the Lions last week but the Eagles defense created seven turnovers and found the end zone. Who has the edge? There are two things we know will happen this season -TO will complain this year and Brees will throw touchdowns every week. The only question is how many and to whom? Do not expect 6 every week, but Drew could throw for 2-3 touches. If you added Jeremy Shockey after his two touchdown performance, do not expect the same this week. The Eagles linebackers play the pass well. Now to the Eagles’ offense. Will Donovan McNabb play? We find it doubtful since the Eagles picked up Jeff Garcia, so expect a healthy dose of Brian Westbrook. Do not let the 33 rushing yards fool you; the Saints run D is not that strong and Westbrook will have a big day.
St. Louis (0-1) at Washington (0-1)
St. Louis YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Washington YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 279 26th Passing Defense 248 21st
Rushing Defense 167 27th Rushing Defense 103 22nd
Fantasy Impact: So after all the talk about installing the Eagles offense and how Steven Jackson will be primed to catch almost as many balls in 2006 (90, yes 90 balls for a running back) how many did he catch? Zero. Do not expect that to happen this week; and as long as the Rams throw the ball away from wherever Albert Haynesworth is, Jackson might have a chance at a decent game. Mark Bulger still is not a good play until the offensive line can prove they can protect him and the Skins D will look to pressure him all day long (which will mean check downs to Jackson). Jason Campbell had a standard slightly above average numbers day Week 1 due to a touchdown while the G-Men were in prevent defense, but the Rams D is not the Giants and head coach Jim Zorn will certainly take a few more shots down the field. Santana Moss might have a good game but Chris Cooley is almost lock as Campbell will look at him all game long. As for Clinton Portis, he is a solid play this week since Julius Jones tore up this weak Rams’ rushing defense.
Arizona (0-1) at Jacksonville (0-1)
Arizona YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Jacksonville YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 182 11th Passing Defense 294 27th
Rushing Defense 21 1st Rushing Defense 71 8th
Fantasy Impact: Cardinals should be looking to have a solid game this week to prevent going down 0-2 and have to hear about the Superbowl runner-up never making it back to the playoffs the following year talk. We fully expect for Kurt Warner to connect with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin all day long. If you are hoping for Tim Hightower to repeat his 12 catch 100+ yard performance, it is not going to happen this week and doubtful for it to happen again this year. Maurice Jones-Drew looked great Week 1 but do not let the numbers fool you. The Cardinals running D is not that good against a quicker back like Jones-Drew. Expect a solid fantasy day out of him and the possibility of a high scorer fantasy game in general.
Tampa Bay (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1)
Tampa Bay YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Buffalo YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 344 30th Passing Defense 368 32nd
Rushing Defense 118 24th Rushing Defense 73 9th
Fantasy Impact: One of the most added fantasy players, Cadillac Williams, will have a good match-up this week; however, the 2-2-1 running system still scares us a little. In deeper leagues it looks as if it is worth starting both Williams and Derrick Ward. Antonio Bryant was a non-factor Week 1 but should improve on his 29 yard performance. Buffalo needs a win after the disappointing loss on Monday Night, and we are sure Terrell Owens wants to see the ball thrown more in his directions (only 4, yes 4, targets on Monday Night with only 2 of them completions to go along with his dropped ball). Expect Owens to be in Trent Edwards’ ear all week and expect both to have nice fantasy days. Fred Jackson torched the Pats and will get his shot again to have 20+ carries.
Seattle (1-0) at San Francisco (1-0)
Seattle YARDS/GAME NFL RANK San Francisco YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 170 9th Passing Defense 259 22nd
Rushing Defense 77 12th Rushing Defense 40 6th
Fantasy Impact: Matt Hasselbeck looked healthy; Nate Burleson looked healthy; T.J. Houshmandzadeh looked good in green, John Carlson had the most points of any tight end; and Julius Jones ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown. But are all these Seahawks fantasy gold or was it simply because they played the Rams? The 49ers will be a good test since they kept a potent Cardinals offense in check Week 1. We think Houshmandzadeh will be solid all year; however, Burleson and Julius Jones might be spot starts and this week they might need to find the bench. On the flip side, it is doubtful that Shawn Hill will have all day to throw ball this week due to a blitzing Seattle D which means starting any 49er receiver might be tough. Frank Gore is a must start always, and he might be in line to touch the ball a ton this week.
Pittsburgh (1-0) at Chicago (0-1)
Pittsburgh YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Chicago YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 234 19th Passing Defense 150 6th
Rushing Defense 86 15th Rushing Defense 76 11th
Fantasy Impact: When you think Steelers, spread offense is not the first thing that comes to mind; However, last Thursday that is exactly what they ran against the Titans D. The Steelers running backs had a tough match-up Week 1 with the Titans, and this week it does not get any easier. Sure, Brian Urlacher is out for the season, but do not expect Parker to run for much this week either. The Urlacher injury will actually help Ben Roethlisberger more since he will not be on the field directing traffic. Look for the Steelers to take a few shots early deep to Santonio Holmes in this game. Jay Cutler threw four picks last week and has to be happy that he does not have to worry about Troy Polamalu running around like a mad man in the secondary. We think that the Bears will get back to the basics with a heavy dose of Matt Forte; but if that fails, look for Earl Bennett to have another eight-catch day. You cannot bench Forte in this one but you might wish you did when it is all over.
Baltimore (1-0) at San Diego (1-0)
Baltimore YARDS/GAME NFL RANK San Diego YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 159 7th Passing Defense 218 16th
Rushing Defense 29 2nd Rushing Defense 148 25th
Fantasy Impact: The Ravens offense looked solid behind the strong arm of Joe Flacco Week 1 and Derek Mason just kept on catching balls. The surprise was Todd Heap who had over 70 yards and a touchdown. That might not be a fluke and the Chargers D has historically had trouble defending the tight end (see Zack Miler’s game log from Monday night) The Ravens did use a three headed monster running back system with everyone getting some play however, Ray Rice is the back to start this week. The Ravens might have given up 24 points however, look tough against the run. LaDainian Tomlinson looked his age and might need to find his way onto the bench this week. Phillip Rivers came alive at the end of the game and expect strong numbers from him all season. Rivers will find Antonio Gates and one of our favorite breakout players Vincent Jackson (in a contract year) all year and this week should not be any different Ravens D or not.
Cleveland (0-1) at Denver (1-0)
Cleveland YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Denver YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 85 3rd Passing Defense 221 17th
Rushing Defense 225 32nd Rushing Defense 86 15th
Fantasy Impact: Bralyon Edwards is still fuming at the touchdown that was taken away from him last weekend. This week he will have Champ Bailey on him all game long so do not expect big things against Denver. Denver did a good job against the run so there is no reason to think that Jamal Lewis will do any better. Take away Kyle Orton’s miracle 86 yard touchdown pass and he did not have a huge Week 1 either. However, we do believe that Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal will have much better days. If Correll Buckhalter gets the start again, he is worth a look to start in your league. We know he is no Adrian Peterson, but Peterson ran all over the Browns in the second half. Overall, this is set up to be an ugly fantasy game so do not expect too many points scored for either team.
NY Giants (1-0) at Dallas (1-0)
NY Giants YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Dallas YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 187 13th Passing Defense 276 25th
Rushing Defense 85 14th Rushing Defense 174 28th
Fantasy Impact: Jerry Jones would sell his soul for a win Sunday Night at his home opener in the new Stadium, and Tony Romo just might help him do that. Without being forced to look at Terrell Owens all game long Romo found ten different receivers and finished with a career high in passing yards. He will be under pressure all game long. If the O-Line gives him time, he is facing a banged up secondary and could have a nice day (which means Jason Witten and Roy Williams’ owners might be happy as well). Facing this Giants Defense is a tough match-up for any running back so both Marion Barber and Felix Jones might need to find their way onto the bench. For the G-Men, Brandon Jacobs will see a heavy workload yet again; and Ahmad Bradshaw will prove he is a great change-of-pace back. No true number one receiver emerged Week 1 for the G-Men; so if you have better options, bench all Giants’ Wideouts. Eli Manning will spread the ball around hence no primary receivers will break out; but if Byron Leftwich threw for almost 300 yards against the Boys, why can’t he?
Indianapolis (1-0) at Miami (0-1)
Indianapolis YARDS/GAME NFL RANK Miami YARDS/GAME NFL RANK
Passing Defense 114 4th Passing Defense 213 15th
Rushing Defense 114 23rd Rushing Defense 68 7th
Fantasy Impact: Last week Miami shut down Michael Turner but could not stop Tony Gonzalez or the Atlanta passing attack. So the Colts might be a nightmare for them with Peyton throwing to Dallas Clark (whose value went up with the injury to Anthony Gonzalez – out at least six weeks) and Reggie Wayne all game long. Joseph Addai looked a little like 2006 Addai, and Donald Brown must stay on the bench until it at least turns into a 50-50 time share. The Fins will be looking to pound the ball all game long so expect a healthy dose of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams just to control the time of possession. Chad Pennington will have a standard Pennington day and Devone Bess, not Ted Ginn, might be the sneaky receiver play here for the Fins in a point per reception league. Pennington’s weaker arm could not get the long ball to Ginn and found Bess early and often in Week 1.